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Designers of A4 throw off the shackles to drag model into the modern era

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The new Audi A4.

By Gerry Murphy

Some people swear by BMW, and more acclaim Mercedes-Benz, but Audi has been in the mix for many years too and now they have a car that has the quality and the panache to challenge these two brands in the saloon segment with the arrival of the new Audi A4 towards the end on last year.

Of course, the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class are both rear-wheel drive cars while the Audi is front-wheel drive, or Quattro, if you have the need for four-wheel drive. This does define one of the major differences between the three and it has a significant effect on the interior space too.

While fans of the rear wheels doing the work are often vocal in their preference for same, the A4 is also a highly significant car in the premium segment – and now they have made it even better than ever.

A view can be taken that on looks alone, Audi may not have taken a giant step forward with the latest Audi A4. I would disagree, however, because I think that the sharper lines, a better ratio of metal to glass, and a broader, more imposing stance all give it a more positive presence on the road. For me it is a design that will age better than others before it too, and it has nice mixture of chrome and balanced headlights design that make it a rather handsome car all round.

However, the greatest advances come with the new interior where designers have thrown off the shackles and dragged this new model into the modern era. It is a complete change and vast improvement from the outgoing version. My test S-Line version is a particularly pleasing environment and while there is a continuation of some their well-tried switch gear and controls, they have smartened it up considerably and now it is a more inviting place to take on any journey.

On the road, there has never been a real complaint from customers of previous A4 models. Now, though, driving enthusiasts will be even more impressed with what Audi are offering here. For a car that provides the size of this car to the driver, the road holding, cornering and grip matches both the BMW 3 Series and is better than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Indeed it could be argued that overall it right up there with the 3-Series, which is the benchmark is the segment.

From a safety point of view, Euro NCAP awarded it the top score of five stars for adult and child safety as well as for pedestrian protection. It also gave the Audi A4 the “Euro NCAP advanced” special award for its standard-fit multi-collision brake assist system and for the Audi pre sense basic system, which is available as an option. Multi-collision brake assist automatically applies the brakes in the event of an accident, reducing the danger of skidding as well as the risk of further collisions. The pre sense basic tightens the seat belt in hazardous situations leading up to a collision, and closes the windows and sunroof.

In all Audi have six engines available: two TFSI and four TDI conforming to EU6 emissions standards. Their power output has increased significantly over the previous model and ranges from 150 hp to 272 hp, but fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 21%. The A4 2.0 TDI, which was fitted in the test car promises fuel consumption for the ‘ultra’ engine of just 3.7 litres per 100 kilometres with CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kilometre. My combined consumption after a full week and nearly 1,000 kilometres came in at 5.3L/100km.

The is now up to 120 kilograms lighter than the previous model, making it the lightest and most fuel efficient Audi A4 ever.

Prices for the Audi A4 start at €37,750 but, of course you can see that rise rapidly with your choice of engine and additional options. The base price for the 150hp diesel is €44,200 but with all its additions on my featured car the cost would be in the region of €55,000. For business and for premium, private motoring, the new Audi A4 must be on everyone’s list of potentials.

 

Connacht Tribune

High demand expected for newly-arrived Yaris Cross

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The Toyota Yaris Cross.

Toyota’s newest Hybrid SUV, the Yaris Cross has just arrived in Ireland and can be seen at Tony Burke Motors in Ballybrit in Galway City and Parsons Garage in Tuam.

This is an entirely new passenger car segment and both dealers are expecting high demand, with supply expected to be limited for the fourth quarter of the year.

The Yaris Cross SUV self-charging hybrid is available in four grades and priced from €27,260, or €200 per month on Toyota Finance PCP.

There is a ruggedness about the design and this can be seen in the front under-run and a lower bumper protection plate at the rear. The specification also includes a set of silver roof rails as standard and 18-inch alloy wheels with a dark grey finish.

In recently announced Euro NCAP safety test results, the Yaris Cross scored the maximum five-sat rating. Toyota bosses say that the range is designed to be the world’s safest compact car with a segment first centre airbag which protects passengers from bumping into each other in the event of a side impact. Yaris Cross owners will also enjoy the peace of mind that the new collision mitigation features which provides increasing safety at intersections and emergency steering assist.

In the cabin, the Yaris Cross Adventure’s features piano black trim details and a black headlining. The supportive leather-like seats are upholstered in an Adventure grade design and there is a deco line across the black, soft-touch instrument panel and inner door mouldings, finished in Yaris Cross’ signature Brass Gold colour. Leather is used for the steering wheel and shift lever gaiter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The new Kia EV6 set to be a massive success both in terms of looks and value

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The Kia EV6.

By Gerry Murphy

A trip to Dublin this week to get our first taste of Kia’s eagerly awaited EV6 proved to be one of the more enlightening new-car drives this year or, indeed for a few years.

Kia has been touting the positives of their first dedicated electric vehicle for a while and, at last it is available to see at Kia dealers throughout Ireland. There has been a healthy interest in the new car and already over 200 units have been sold, sight unseen, to Irish buyers.

The over-riding impression is that this new car is outstanding value for money when compared to other EVs on the market. Visually, it is spectacular and when you add the features, its capability, and the exquisite interior to the mix, it is no surprise that Kia chiefs are extremely upbeat about their new invention.

Kia Ireland are initially offering two trim levels: EV6 Earth and EV6 GT Line both RWD. The Earth model on 19” wheels is has a full charge range of 528kms with the GT-line on 20” wheels can achieve up to 506kms.

Both models are fitted with the long-range (77.4 kWh) battery pack that is paired with a 168 kW (229ps) electric motor. Both models are also fitted with a heat pump to optimise the efficiency of the battery in colder conditions.

The EV6 Earth (€50,000 including SEAI grant) comes with a host of comfort, convenience and safety features as standard including: 19” alloys, dual 12.3” curved driver display screens, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery with premium relaxation seats, LED headlamps, and smart power tailgate.

Key additions to the EV6 GT Line (€54,345 inc SEAI grant) include GT Line styling, 20” alloys, suede/vegan leather seats (front ventilated), blind spot view monitors, AR heads-up display, and panoramic sunroof.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Mercedes-Benz EQA one of a number of new electric cars that is driving up sales

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Mercedes-Benz EQA

By Gerry Murphy

We can no longer hide from the fact that electric cars are here to stay, and Mercedes-Benz are up and running by adding new models of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to their burgeoning range. It is all part of a two-pronged attack in the electrified market with a combination of plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles coming on stream.

I have been spending some quality time with the new EQA, which is a car that they say is targeted at a younger generation of eco-conscious motorists. This car is the all-electric version of their popular compact A-Class range and is expected to establish a strong market presence in Ireland for their growing electric-powered EQ model range. It is Mercedes-Benz’s goal to have a fully carbon-neutral fleet within the next two decades.

Although not the most outlandish design style compared to some offerings in the EV genre, the GLA-styled SUV body of the EQA is sensible and functional with distinctive brand staples and does not pretend to be anything else. Its overall structure is echoed on the inside too with the brand’s typically up-market furnishings and technology.

At the front, its black panel grille and star, EQ blue headlamp strips, and a distinctive fibre-optic strip running along front and rear reveal its Mercedes-EQ family membership. Other pointers to its electric character are evident inside including backlit trim and rosé gold decorative elements on ventilation outlets, seats and key.

Badged as an EQA 250, its technical makeup include 140 kW power, combined consumption of 15.7 kWh/100 km, and a WLTP calculated range of 426 km. However, like all electric cars, that range is compromised by driving style and use of onboard features.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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